I’ve never been a morning person. My roommate in college called me the Snooze Queen. But when life took a downward turn, I didn’t just hit the snooze button.  I turned the alarm off altogether. I didn’t want to get up. Getting out of bed felt like moving the Titanic. Sliding out from under the covers to carry the weight of my heavy heart was the biggest hurdle of my day.
I know someone who is experiencing a downward turn of their own. We were talking recently and like a helpful friend I offered a string of suggestions. Our conversation went something like this:
“Why don’t you get outside and go for a walk?”
“I don’t want to.”
“You could watch a funny movie.”
“I don’t want to.”
What about taking a bubble bath?
“I don’t want to.”
I gave up and left our conversation feeling frustrated.
And then I remembered how much I appreciate perky people with helpful suggestions when I have the “don’t-want-to’s.”
I always groan whenever someone tells me to turn to Proverbs 31. Seriously, that woman is so annoying.  And here’s the reality – King Solomon waded through 700 wives and 300 concubines looking for that girl.  I’m not sure she exists. Verse 15 is particularly irritating when you have serious sleeping-in skills like mine.
She rises while it is still night…..”
I’ll admit, I’ve made some assumptions about this overachiever. I assume she wants to get up. She’s a morning person. But what if my assumption is wrong? What if she rises not because she wants to but because she knows it’s the right thing to do? What if she gets up even though she doesn’t want to get up at all?
I’ve learned a few things about desire through the don’t-want-to episodes of my life:
  • Desire is nice but not necessary.
  • If I wait until I want to, I may never take action.
  • Doing what I know is good and right to do regardless of how I feel is actually quite satisfying. 
  • Sometimes the “want to” comes AFTER I take the first step.
I’m still not a morning person. Sometimes I leave the blinds open so sunlight will seep in. Nature’s alarm clock is the best. Sometimes I lie in bed and think about rhubarb strawberry yogurt, hoping thoughts of a yummy breakfast will rouse me. Sometimes I let myself linger and read a devotional before getting out of bed.
I won’t let the “don’t-want-to’s” keep me under the covers for long.
She rises. She gets up. She moves forward with or without the “want-to” and so do I.
What helps you overcome the don’t-want-tos?

Originally published at A Bundle of THYME